Seven Hot Takes

1.  Today, I offered cash to my 13-year-old daughter if she would please, please let me braid up her long, thick, wavy mane of hair, which she has been wearing down  (or even down and topped with a knit cap!) all summer.  When she heard the dollar amount, she looked startled, and then offered to let me do it for free.  Therein beats a human heart after all!

2.  The kids have been staying cool by eating ice cubes,wearing as few clothes as they can get away with, according to their station in life; and lying on their necks, gaping vacantly at reruns of Star Trek.  Star Trek is already nearly unwatchable to me, but the sight of those skin-tight polyester turtlenecks makes me want to put a pickaxe through the TV screen.

3.  When it’s very hot, the sticky, crumby, chaotic, sloppy piles of random belongings that we call a home, and which I normally find extremely tolerable and ignorable, make me INSANE.  And so, on the very days when I know I ought to be putting my feet up and drinking lots of fluids and conserving physical and emotional energy, I find myself scrambling around cleaning inside cabinets, under the oven, and around the dials on the washing machine.  This does not help.  But I can’t help it.

4.  You may recall that our house has a hose problem.  We now have a way of hooking up the hose, but I think our well tank was designed for an older, simpler time, when people were made out of paper, and didn’t consider large quantities of water something to be grasped at.

Being a mature and responsible homeowner, I have responded to the problem by deciding I really don’t care when we run out of water.

What happens is I let the kids use the hose, and I sit down to check out Facebook.  Eventually I try to do dishes or something, and discover that the water has run out.  I say, “Dammit,” and go back and check Facebook for a while.  The kids run in and out of the house as they play in the muddy grass, and I greet them with a motherly, “AGH, no hugs, get away from me, you’re all wet!  Get out, get out!  Look what you’re doing to the floor!”  (I’m pretty sure they know this means, “I love you.”)  Then I tell the kids it’s too hot to cook lunch, and they eat mustard and fig newtons or something, I don’t care.  Then I try to do the dishes again, and discover again that we’re out of water.

Then I check Facebook again, and get a “hey, how’s it going, boy it’s hot, what are you wearing” email from my husband.  Hearing from him reminds me that he’s not actually as fine as I am with not having water, and that I better go fix it before he gets home.  So I say “dammit” again, go into the basement, and push on the scummy little lever until it finds just the right spot, and water starts running again.  Then I go check Facebook.

5.  We also have a cup problem.  I shall demonstrate why with the following dialogue I just had with my seven-year-old son:

Son:  Can I make lemonade?
Me:  Uggggg, no.  Uggggg, yes.  I guess so, okay, fine, all right, yes.  Just don’t make a mess with the sugar, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
Son:  Dang!  Never mind.  I forgot, all the cups are dirty.
Me:  WELL, you could WASH one!
Son:  Nah, I’ll just wait until the dirty ones get washed.
Son:  That’s okay, I’ll just make lemonade later, when there are more cups.

6.  The other day, while my husband and the older kids were out seeing Harry Potter and the Curse of the Humiliating Controversy, I thought the little ones and I would replicate one of my fondest childhood memories:  making giant bubbles.  I actually bought straws, string, and extra dish detergent ahead of time, so it would be a smooth, successful project, and we would All Have Fun.

Well, it didn’t work.  Of course.  I couldn’t get the proportions of soap and water right (how is that even possible?  This is NOT HARD!), and  — I don’t know, maybe it was the wrong kind of string or something.  We eventually made maybe half a dozen respectably large bubbles, but there was an awful lot more of this

and this

than there was of bubbles.  Some of us, however, managed to have fun anyway:

7.  And then of course when there is hot weather, there is plenty of beach, and silly bathing beauties

which makes it all worthwhile.

Don’t forget to check out Conversion Diary for all the other Seven Quick Takes.

Oh, and my post today at the Register, “Safe Playgrounds and Safe Sex” may or may not generate some heat of its own — you never know.



  1. so enjoy reading your words, thanks for the morning chuckle. i too am pregnant (8 mos with #5) in this new england heatwave and share many of your sentiments. 🙂

  2. I feel like I was JUST sitting at this very spot, griping about the massive amounts of snow we were getting.

    Man, I miss that snow.

  3. been doing the giant bubbles thing for big gatherings, which has become every Sunday in July. Here’s the “recipe” from

    1 gallon distilled water
    10 oz. Ultra-concentrated Dawn liquid detergent POUR SLOWLY
    6 Tablespoons liquid glycerin (near rubbing alcohol and Witch Hazel in Wal-Mart pharmacy section), about half the 6 oz.bottle
    + commercial bubble mix (recipe says 40-60 oz. but any amount helps) to increase bubble size.

    Also: any tarp or old shower curtain makes for a great slip n’ slide: an old detergent bottle with detergent and water mixture SQUIRTED on wet slide has made every kid slap-happy around here

  4. “3. When it’s very hot, the sticky, crumby, chaotic, sloppy piles of random belongings that we call a home, and which I normally find extremely tolerable and ignorable, make me INSANE.”

    Story of my life. I distinctly remember my husband asking me why I was washing UNDER the microwave. Under it! Well sweetheart, it’s for the same reason I have to wipe off all traces of flour and sugar from my canisters. I have to!

  5. I was so relieved to learn that your cups end up all over the lawn too. I just looked in my cupboard this morning, and there was nothing, not even my favorite coffee cup, and all my dishes were washed. So, I drank my coffee out of a measuring cup. I needed something to fortify me before I went on a search for cups, because, usually, by the time I find them they have a spider or something really gross living in them. Thank goodness I have boys who think bugs are fun…EWWW

  6. If you don’t have glycerin (I never do! I don’t even know where to buy it) you can actually substitute a bit of corn syrup to give your bubble liquid more staying power. Sounds weird, but it works!

  7. #5 transported me back to my childhood. My mom always complained that she spent hours a day washing cups. And hunting cups. When we were kids, we ate Frobens all the time. Frobens are Country Time lemonade frozen in plastic cups. You freeze it till the sides are frozen, and the top and bottom, and the middle is ice-cold slushy lemonade. The you attack it with a spoon. Your exchange with your son had me giggling because at my house, it was something like this.
    Kid: I wanna make Frobens. Can I?
    Mom: Okay. I guess. Don’t spill lemonade everywhere.
    Kid:There’s no cups.
    Mom:The cups for Frobens are all over the front yard where you left them last night. In fact, I just saw the dog walk past the window chewing on one.
    Kid: Oh…oh well. I guess we won’t have Frobens tonight then.

    Kids are so lazy.

  8. The conversation about cups crack me up. My boyfriend lives with 4 other guys and they now just use plastic cups for the same lazy reason. The last photo smiles are precious!

  9. Simcha- drink your water!

    for a semi-safe pool alternative- put a tarp on a flat, grassy spot & put one kid in charge on turning water on and off- once it gets dry, kid hoses it down with water

  10. but I think our well tank was designed for an older, simpler time,

    Over a few years, a well-tank will acquire an increasing amount of air inside. As a consequence, less water can be held in the tank. Consider loosing the topmost plug on your water-tank while the pump runs, thus expelling “extra” air from the tank.

    You could also call a plumber or water-well guy for further consultation.

  11. So happy I stopped by here. I have confirmation that my life is indeed humorous and often hilarious, I am heartened by people who share my cup problem (my advice to engage couples: skip the china, register for paper products,) and a recipe for bubbles which I’ve always wanted to do — I’ve even had glycerin for years.

  12. I just read your post on ‘seven things’ and the trouble you had making bubbles and running out of water in the heat of summer….and then read the article about the Mary in a Helicopter and the image of the Japanese woman gently bathing her deformed daughter. And I thought “can this writer be the same person? No way. And lo and behold it’s you both times.

    Crazy…but I can relate to the remnants of artistic appreciaton and ascending to tender moments of faith and Holy Spirit inspired beauty…they still occasionally catch me by surprise and punctuate the ant infestations, wet bathing suits that are left on the stairs/bed/rug/floor/bathroom/bed, and multiple moments when I actually say things I never, ever imagined that I would in BH, (“before motherhood”). Things such as ‘whose poop is this?’ as I examine it and try to figure out which child it might belong to. I actually did that earlier tonight and it never occurred to me that i was doing something completely gross. It was all about JUSTICE and attempting to get my children to actually flush their actual excrement. Themselves. Without threats of losing whatever I could think of quickly that they might value if I refused to grant to them.

    Anyway, these two articles were comforting to me – to see that you have this paradox in your life as well. You actually go a little lower in the disheveled household department (okay, sometimes I am lower) and higher in the exquisiteness of spiritual insights and bursts of intellectual functioning that are reminiscent of When I Was Smart (also before motherhood) (and mostly in college).

    So thanks for speaking and writing out of both sides of your brain – the sane and the insane sides. I can totally relate. Another glimmer of hope rises from the laundry pile of my brain.

    Read more:

  13. Oh my goodness- look at all these helpful comments! All I got is this: my daughter used shampoo to make enormous bubbles and it worked. I even made them use their own hands and/or sticks as the “device”, because I am cheap like that. Y’all should try it!

  14. “something to be grasped at”

    Haven’t I heard that somewhere before? ….somewhere in the New Testament?

    ***love*** how Scripture-phrases show up in your not-necessarily-about-Scripture blogging! 🙂

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